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Review: Dell’s 32-inch UltraSharp monitor has a high-contrast IPS Black display

Review: Dell's 32-inch UltraSharp monitor has a high-contrast IPS Black display
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Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K Monitor.
Expand / Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K Monitor.

sharon hard

Specs at a glance: Dell UltraSharp U3223QZ
panel size 31.5 inches
Resolution 3840×2160
To update Speed 60hz
Panel type and backlight IPS Black, LCD
ports 2x USB-C upstream, 1x USB-C downstream, 1x HDMI 2.0, 1x DisplayPort 1.4, 1x DisplayPort 1.4 out, 5x USB-A downstream, 1x 3.5mm, 1x RJ45
Size 28.06 × 9.06 × 19.6-25.48 inches with stand
(712.6 × 230 × 497.84-647.27mm)
Weight 26.23 pounds
(11.9kg)
Warranty 3 years
Price (MSRP) $1,029

I get it; Not everyone finds monitors as exciting as I do. For most people, a little extra color or a wider range of hues doesn’t really set one screen apart from another. So I don’t blame Dell for stuffing the UltraSharp U3223QZ 4K monitor with motion-activated controls, monstrous speakers, and a presence-sensing webcam. But after weeks with the monitor, I didn’t find any of those extra features as exciting as the monitor’s IPS Black panel.

The U3223QZ has a lot to prove. For one, it debuted at the same MSRP as the 5K Apple studio screen (Start to $1,600). Dell has since made the price more competitive ($1,280 at the time of writing), but it’s still expensive for a 31.5-inch monitor. Dell’s U3223QZ is also one of the few monitors to use IPS Black technology, which is supposed to produce about twice the contrast of your typical IPS monitor. I checked it with a colorimeter and, more amusing, with my eyes.

The additional features of the U3223QZ have their advantages. The speakers are louder than average and the webcam can automatically log in and out. But for many people, it makes sense to save money and buy the version of this monitor without the webcam…and without a dedicated Microsoft Teams button.

Design

If you want an IPS Black panel, 31.5-inches is your largest option. All panels are 4K, which means the larger U3223QZ panel has a lower pixel density (139.87 pixels per inch) than its smaller 27-inch sibling. Dell UltraSharp U2723QE (163.18 ppi). If that bothers you, we’ll remind you of Apple’s similarly priced Studio Display. It packs 5K resolution on a 27-inch (traditional) IPS panel (217.57 ppi), which makes the pixel density of the two UltraSharps seem negligible.

The deep power button and protruding 5-way joystick on the back were easy to spot.
Expand / The deep power button and protruding 5-way joystick on the back were easy to spot.

sharon hard

The U3223QZ has Apple-friendly shades and shapes, including slim bezels, a silver trapezoid-shaped base, and a smooth gray plastic back. A variety of connectivity options help connect up to two computers simultaneously, but I preferred to use USB-C with power delivery. That meant fewer cables going through the stand’s opening, which also helps with basic cable management.

thicker lines

The U3223QZ has the slim bezels of Dell’s UltraSharp line of monitors, but still gives off chunky vibes. That’s because, in addition to the slim bezels, the panel is framed by thicker top and bottom edges to accommodate the speakers and 1.3-inch camera (top) and touch controls (bottom). It’s the most visually stunning monitor to have graced my desk in a long time.

Due to technical issues, I reviewed two U3223QZ units. Both review units had fabric over the speakers and it seemed pretty tight, but that’s still a lot of fabric that could snag for an extended period (the monitor carries a three-year warranty). Each of my review units also had an annoying gap between the chassis panel and the speaker.

That little gap next to the speaker is a small problem but one that bothers me.
Expand / That little gap next to the speaker is a small problem but one that bothers me.

sharon hard

Meanwhile, the lower left corner of the monitor has touch controls for launching Microsoft Teams, starting or ending a call, adjusting the volume, and turning the microphone and camera on and off. The buttons only light up when a hand is nearby or when the mic mute or camera shutter is activated, which is a good thing because the bright lights are a bit distracting.

The controls aren’t programmable, which is a shame for someone who doesn’t use Teams.

I'd get rid of the Teams button in a heartbeat.
Expand / I’d get rid of the Teams button in a heartbeat.

sharon hard

The U3223QZ’s stand supports tilting from -5 to 21 degrees, swivels left or right 30 degrees, and allows for 5.88-inches of height adjustment. Admirably, the monitor is shorter than most, with just 1.5 inches between the desktop and the chin of the monitor on the lowest setting. For comparison, the Samsung S80UA The 4K monitor I have sits at least 2.75 inches above my desk.

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